"Made In Italy" Is Italian For "Made In Sweatshops"

"Made In Italy" Is Italian For "Made In Sweatshops"

That $1,500 Prada bag may have been stitched by an illegal Chinese immigrant slaving away in a Tuscan factory. The tentacles of globalization are starting to snake dirt-cheap foreign laborers into once-protected enclaves known for their quality swag.

No Replacements For Prepaid iPhone Users

No Replacements For Prepaid iPhone Users

iPhone owners using prepaid SIM cards better take extra special care of their pocket trophies. According to Apple and AT&T, prepaid SIM cards are eternally wed without consent to one lucky iPhone, an important caveat reader JD discovered after spending 32 hours trying to activate his replacement iPhone. JD warns:

If you activated an iPhone with a new AT&T prepaid plan, you *must* keep using that iPhone. You *cannot* replace that iPhone with another iPhone. The only way to use a new iPhone with your prepaid account, is to *create a new account with a new phone number,* and have them move your balance over. Period. Apparently this is a “security feature” and the system was “designed that way,” specifically for prepaid iPhone plans.

The discouraging verdict from both Apple and AT&T should make potential iPhone users think twice before using a prepaid SIM card to skirt the confines of a two year contract. JD’s full story, after the jump.

5 Scammy Calling Card Fees

5 Scammy Calling Card Fees

Some calling cards have all sorts of charges hidden in the fine print that like to play PacMan with your minutes. BusinessWeek has five to watch out for and what they really mean:

AirTran's Disingenuous "System-Wide Summer Sale"

AirTran's Disingenuous "System-Wide Summer Sale"

Monday, AirTran announced a so-called “System-Wide Summer Sale.” FareCompare.com looked at the price history and found that instead, AirTran had raised prices, then lowered them, calling the delta a “sale.”

Shop Around for Student Loans

Shop Around for Student Loans

With the recent fallout about educational institutions accepting all matter of filthy payola in exchange for letting private lenders get exclusive access to students, it’s apparent borrowers need to take Student Loan Shopping 1000. NYT goes into how you can look for a better deal:

The Used Car You Are Looking To Buy May Have Been Totaled

The Used Car You Are Looking To Buy May Have Been Totaled

Most states prevent totaled cars from re-entering the market without a salvage license, so consumers know that the used car they are looking to buy was once a complete wreck.

What bugs dealers and consumer advocates is that the tangle of state laws makes it possible to move a vehicle across state lines and apply for a “clean” title that makes no mention of its checkered past. The fact that some states don’t even require salvage titles stretches the loophole even wider.

The practice has become so prevalent, particularly in states affected by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, that Congress is considering a measure that would establish a national database of totaled vehicles. Before you buy a used car, especially in the south, first ask your mechanic to give it a once-over. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Third-Party Text Packages Cost Subscriber $7,000 In One Month

TampaForums member Treysdad received a $7,243.29 bill after subscribing to numerous third-party text packages. By purchasing an unlimited text message plan from Nextel, Treysdad thought he could receive any texts for free.

Hot Tub Dealer Sets Up “Competitive” Fair Where It’s The Only Seller

Much like the pearl buyers in Steinbeck’s The Pearl, Master Spas in Minneapolis sets up a hot tub fair promoted with the line, “15 manufacturer’s compete for your business!” However, the only business actually selling at the convention is Master Spas. KSTP investigates.

Dumbass Ebayer Buys Three Original Playstations For $900

Dumbass Ebayer Buys Three Original Playstations For $900

This retard bought three playstations for $900. That’s not the in-demand PS3, but the original Playstation, which regularly sells on Ebay for around $20 to $40.

DIY Title Search

DIY Title Search

The cost of acquiring a home can be ratcheted up significantly if the buyer doesn’t pick their own title-insurance company.

Avoid Medical Bill Sickness

Staying in a hospital can feel like the song in Les Miserables where they charge you if the window sash is down, and charge you if it’s up. Luckily, FiveCentNickle’s got a good writeup on avoiding getting nicked and dimed on your medical expenses.

Letters to the Editor: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Letters to the Editor: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Some would envy Eilidh, being showered with golden jewelry by a male admirer.

Laptop Reward Traps the Myopic

Laptop Reward Traps the Myopic

UPDATE: NBA Finals Caveat Emptor

UPDATE: NBA Finals Caveat Emptor

After reading on The Consumerist and elsewhere about a scammer bilking people for NBA Finals tickets, Robbie decided to do something awesome. He called the police. That’s right, if a consumer crime is committed, there is actually something more effective to do than blog about it. Robbie reports the cops seemed receptive to taking the guy out.

NBA Finals Caveat Emptor

NBA Finals Caveat Emptor

Sports fans, beware! You may love this game, but someone out there will be more than happy to steal your lunch money for showing the love

FOLLOWUP: The Broken Laptop I Sold On Ebay

FOLLOWUP: The Broken Laptop I Sold On Ebay

New developments in the ever-popular story of a guy who got revenge on an ebay seller who sold him a broken laptop by posting embarrassing photos found on the notebook once it arrived.

UPDATE: The Broken Laptop I Sold on Ebay

UPDATE: The Broken Laptop I Sold on Ebay

Amir Massoud Tofangsazan has gotten more popular than he could have ever dreamed, or wanted.

American Dream Faces Setbacks in Peoria

There’s a scandal brewing in Peoria and it doesn’t smell like potpourri.